Pilot books and local sailors love to recommend their favourite inside passages where a terrible tide race is raging just a quarter-mile offshore. Many inshore passages are highly reliable, some less so, and it pays to prepare for the worst. A distant onshore blow can set up a swell that the bottom won’t like, just when we’re least expecting trouble. Some passages are very narrow indeed and it doesn’t take much to transform what should be a millpond into ‘wall-to-wall breakers’. The best advice is, if conditions seem OK, go for it, but look out ahead for that white water. Keep the harnesses handy, and be ready to batten down.